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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress made by Network Rail to raise sufficient funds to acquire Railtrack's assets. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his response is to ATOC's proposals further to limit the validity of the Network Railcard. 
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Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what plans he has to (a) enforce and (b) improve the code which controls the distances between aircraft and customs that incoming and outgoing passengers are required to walk at UK airports; 
Annex 9 to the Chicago Convention contains the recommended practice that: "Particular attention should be given to passenger routes involving long distances to be covered on foot and the possibility should be studied of facilitating travel over these routes by mechanical systems."
My Department has commended this guidance to the industry, but it is for airport operators to decide how to apply it at individual airports, taking into account any relevant customer service standards.
Special arrangements for elderly and disabled people are the subject of a Code of Practice currently being developed between my Department and representatives of the aviation industry and the various disability organisations; it is hoped to finalise the text shortly.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) cars, motorbikes and vans, (b) lorries and (c) camper-vans and caravans use the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh each day. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if there is (a) current and (b) proposed European Union guidance on the implementation of (i) congestion charging, (ii) road pricing and (iii) workplace parking charging. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if his Department produces guidance to local authorities on the recommended daily rates for (a) congestion charging and (b) workplace parking charging; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the estimated revenue is from (a) workplace parking charges and (b) congestion charging in each year of his Department's 10-year transport plan. 
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what restrictions govern the movement of slow moving wide loads on public highways in England and Wales; and what steps he has taken to keep traffic disruption caused thereby to a minimum. 
Mr. Spellar: The movement of slow moving and wide loads is regulated by the requirements laid down in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended and the Motor Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) General Order 1979, also as amended. Under these regulations there is a requirement on the haulier to inform the police about the movement of such loads. The police have the powers to vary the time or date of the move on the grounds of road safety and congestion to suit local conditions.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will introduce a telephone hotline for members of the public who witness the carriage of children without seat belts. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department has no plans for such a hotline for reports about unrestrained children carried in vehicles. It is the responsibility of the police to enforce road traffic legislation including that relating to the use of child restraints. It is always open for members of the public to make specific complaints directly to the police.
Roadside surveys indicate that the wearing rate for child restraints/seat belts by children in the rear seats of cars is over 90 per cent. The Department will nevertheless continue with its publicity and information campaigns to encourage even greater use of restraints by adults and children.
Mr. Byers: I will be publishing a first year report detailing progress on delivery of the 10-year transport plan in July. Rural transport concerns were fully incorporated when the 10-year plan was published in 2000.
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Ms Keeble: My right hon. Friend has today laid before Parliament a Statutory Instrument: The Town and Country Planning (Major Infrastructure Project Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2002. A Departmental Circular (DTLR Circular 02/2002) is also being issued today to accompany the new Statutory Instrument. This Circular explains the new procedures for handling inquiries into those major infrastructure projects in England, as defined in the schedule to the Rules. Copies of the Statutory Instrument and the Circular have been placed in the House Libraries.
The new arrangements for major infrastructure project inquiries, which are due to come into force on 7 June, are part of the package of measures announced by my right hon. Friend on 20 July 2001, to streamline the planning procedures for major infrastructure projects. The Department has also consulted on a key part of that package which is the proposed introduction of new procedures to enable Parliament to make a decision in principle on applications for major projects before the detail of the application is considered at a public inquiry.
the introduction of a technical adviser, who will be tasked with assessing the technical evidence of all parties and will produce his own independent report on the technical issues.
the introduction of mediation into inquiry proceedings which will help to narrow the issues before and during the inquiry.
A date for the delivery of the Inspector's report will be announced at the end of the inquiry. This will give certainty to the parties about the length of time.
the provision to limit cross examination where the inquiry timetable is put at risk has been introduced so that a situation should not arise where people at the beginning of an inquiry are not allowed to encroach into cross examination time allocated to those at the end of the inquiry.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to include rural areas in the (a) National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal and (b) Neighbourhood Renewal Fund. 
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The National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal is a new long-term initiative designed to address the underlying causes of deprivation. Delivering the National Strategy will require changes to the way key services are delivered in all deprived areasurban or rural. The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund aims to supplement this by enabling the 88 most deprived authorities to improve the services they provide. At least 16 of these 88 areas contain substantial rural areas.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions his Department has had with the Countryside Agency on the application of rural proofing to the work of his Department. 
Mr. Byers: Both the Minister for Housing, Planning and Regeneration and I have met the chairman of the Countryside Agency to discuss a range of rural issues. Officials from my Department have regular contact with their counterparts at the Countryside Agency about rural proofing and other matters.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to increase rural proofing in his Department in line with the Countryside Agency's report, "Rural Proofing in 200102". 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what guidance he has issued to the Strategic Rail Authority on the application of rural proofing to its work. 
Mr. Byers: Paragraph 8.6 of the Directions and Guidance I gave to the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) on 11 April requires the authority to use their published planning criteria in appraising rail schemes. These criteria requires costs and benefits relating to environment, accessibility, integration, safety and economy to be taken into account, many of which could identify specific rural impacts.
Financial assistance is provided to rural rail services as part of the Rail Passenger Partnership programme (RPP). RPP funding contributes to the provision of new or enhanced local and regional rail services or facilities. Projects cover both urban and rural networks, but have so far included increased services to rural areas, new stations and schemes to improve accessibility.
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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what account is being taken of rural proofing in the Department's review of the Standard Spending Assessment formula for local authorities. 
Mr. Byers: We are working to develop options for a fairer and more intelligible grant distribution system. Representatives of rural authorities are members of the technical working groups my Department is running. We will consult on options over the summer and will consider the responses, including those on factors that relate to rural areas, when we come to take decisions.
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